Conscience or cold-hearted logic – which is the best?

In this animated talk Stephen Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein debate the extent to which reason or emotion are key drivers of our moral progress from generation to generation.

Goldstein laments the fact that we live in an age of religious fundamentalism, scientific creationism and 9/11 conspiracy theories. She argues that reason is loosing it’s grip. Pinker counter-argues that “cold-hearted” logic can not save us or underwrite progress. He argues that reason is a tool, a means to an end. He says that everyone’s aspirations may be played out through reason, but that they are fundamentally driven by emotions and passions.

This is an excellent resource for those TOK students who need to reflect on the relationship between the head and the heart, between reason and emotion.

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